It’s no news that magazine publishers have begun to focus extensively on tablets such as the iPad, coming out with pricey tablet editions that cost the same as single print issues and usually do not have the same flexibility of use as viewing the same content on the web. (Though it is worth mentioning that Wired has dropped the price of its iPad magazine from $5 to $4 with the latest issue—a small improvement, at least.)
However, some magazine publishers are passing up both tablet and web and releasing direct e-magazine editions for the PC. Folio has a piece looking at two companies, Bonner Corp. and Interweave, that are coming out with dedicated PC e-zine apps.
Bonner, publisher of Skiing Magazine, is developing “Skiing Interactive”—a PC application with multimedia content from the magazine, including a “Best of the Web” section with user-generated content. Bonnier has ten issues under preparation, but has not yet decided on pricing.
Interweave publishes Quilting Arts Magazine, and is launching an “eMag” called Quilting Arts in Stitches.
“This is not a magazine or an app or a digital version of a magazine,” Fiber Division vice president and publisher John Bolton says. “Quilting Arts Magazine readers have been accustomed to digital issues of our print magazines for several years, but this is an entirely unique digital product unlike any we’ve been able to deliver before.”
Quilting Arts in Stitches will also include multimedia content, including video demonstrations and interviews, slideshows, and hyperlinks. The purchase price will be $14.97 per issue—rather more expensive than Wired’s iPad edition, but on the other hand the market for a quilting magazine is going to be that much smaller so the demand curve (the amount the company must charge to be profitable) will be that much higher.
It is interesting to see some companies taking a third path. But just like iPad zine apps, it still brings to mind the early CD-ROM era when publishers came out with disc after disc of multimedia content that was very pretty—and very impossible to make much use of outside the confines of the disc.